White-M Hairstreak Found

Yesterday afternoon Steve Spomer found a male White-M Hairstreak (Parrhasius m-album) in his yard in Lincoln. This is the third record of this butterfly for the state, the other two coming from Fontenelle Forest. Larvae of this species feed on oaks. Steve said there are a few ornamental oaks nearby, but he suspects the butterfly did not originate from the immediate area. So, as it was likely a stray, the question becomes from where? Bur Oaks (Quercus macrocarpa) are widespread in southeastern Nebraska but there is as of yet no evidence of a resident population in the state. The White-M Hairstreak is a resident in the southeastern portion of the United States with permanent populations in Missouri and southern Iowa. Heitzman (1987) reports four broods in Missouri flying from April through September. Nebraska’s other two records are from August.

White-M Hairstreak, Fontenelle Forest, Sarpy County NE, Aug 11 2020, JoAnne Langabee

So, questions remain as to this species status in Nebraska. Resident or stray? If a stray are they breeding here. Fertile ground for further investigations. If you live in southeast Nebraska keep an eye out for this butterfly which closely resembles Gray Hairstreaks (note the white M on the ventral hindwing on the picture). The iridescent blue on the dorsal area is also a dead giveaway. If you see this or any other interesting butterfly or one you believe to be a county record be sure to let us know at nebraskabutterflies@gmail.com.

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